News

WHOI and 4Ocean Search the Twilight Zone

Jellyfish play a vital role in a healthy ocean. But we need more insight into exactly what that role is–and how jellyfish fit into the changes taking place in the ocean every day. Learn more about Jellies of the Twilight Zone. That’s why we partnered with 4Ocean to release this Jellyfish Bracelet. The purchase of each bracelet funds…

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Following the Elusive Swordfish

Swordfish may be among the most universally recognized apex predators in the open ocean, but given that they spend half of their lives in deeper waters and aren’t easily observed and knowing where and when they travel has been a long-standing mystery. That is, until recently, when researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and…

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WHOI returns to the United Nations

by Aria Ritz Finkelstein, WHOI Marine Policy Center Guest Student This week, Greta Thunberg has captivated the world by sailing from the UK to New York City for next week’s UN Climate Action Summit. Her goal has been to raise awareness of climate change and the environmental costs of international travel, but her voyage has…

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A Tunnel to the Twilight Zone

Last year, researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Applied Physics Lab at the University of Washington (UW) discovered that when white sharks are ready to feast, they ride large, swirling ocean currents known as eddies to fast-track their way to the ocean twilight zone—a layer of the ocean between 200 and 1000 meters…

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Once More Into the Twilight Zone

Deep-See deployment

On July 25, scientists embarked on the 2019 Ocean Twilight Zone expedition aboard NOAA Ship  Henry B. Bigelow. A team made up of WHOI and NOAA Fisheries researchers departed Newport, R.I., Thursday morning and headed south towards the edge of the continental shelf. This will be the first full scientific mission into the ocean twilight…

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Mesobot Dives into the Twilight Zone for the First Time

Mesobot using red light in a test tank

The newly developed deep sea robot, Mesobot, dove down to 300m for the first time last week during a successful test and evaluation cruise off Monterey Bay. Mesobot is designed to let scientists observe the twilight zone by autonomously tracking individual animals for hours or even days without disturbing the environment or disrupting their behavior.

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Fish with Flashlights

Sloan viper fish

Down in the dark and shadowy mesopelagic layer of the ocean, countless species—bristlemouths, lanternfishes, jellies, and others—have a natural ability to generate their own light through chemical reactions. Most twilight zone animals produce blue light—the color that penetrates the farthest through seawater—but some also produce flashes of red, yellow, and green. Collectively, the lights form…

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Bringing Light into Darkness

Floating jelly

Oceanographers studying creatures in the ocean twilight zone are facing an optical dilemma. They need to observe the fish in order to study them, but at ocean depths of 200 meters and beyond, there’s very little natural light trickling down from the surface. This means that submersibles developed to image and track these animals need to be…

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New Cooperative Institute to Boost Twilight Zone Exploration

On May 6, WHOI announced it would be joining a $94 million consortium led by the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography to support ocean exploration, responsible resource management, improved scientific understanding of the deep sea and strengthen the nation’s Blue Economy. The goal of the new Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute, which includes…

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